Matthew Chapter Seventeen
Jesus leads them up into a high mountain, and there is transfigured before them: "His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." Moses and Elias appeared also, talking with Him. I leave the subject of their discourse, which is deeply interesting, till we come to the Gospel of Luke, who adds a few other circumstances, which, in some respects, give another aspect to this scene.
Here the Lord appears in glory, and Moses and Elias with Him: the one the legislator of the Jews; the other (almost equally distinguished) the prophet who sought to bring back the ten apostate tribes to the worship of Jehovah, and who, despairing of the people, went back to Horeb, whence the law was given, and afterwards was taken up to heaven without passing through death.
These two persons, pre-eminently illustrious in the dealings of God with Israel, as the founder and the restorer of the people in connection with the law, appear in company with Jesus. Peter (struck with this apparition, rejoicing to see his Master associated with these pillars of the Jewish system, with such eminent servants of God, ignorant of the glory of the Son of man, and forgetting the revelation of the glory of His Person as the Son of God) desires to make three tabernacles, and to place the three on the same level as oracles. But the glory of God manifests itself; that is to say, the sign known in Israel as the abode (shechinah) of that glory;  and the voice of the Father is heard. Grace may put Moses and Elias in the same glory as that of the Son of God, and associate them with Him; but if the folly of man, in his ignorance, would place them together as having in themselves equal authority over the heart of the believer, the Father must at once vindicate the rights of His Son. Not a moment elapses before the Father's voice proclaims the glory of the Person of His Son, His relation to Himself, that He is the object of His entire affection, in whom is all His delight. It is He whom the disciples are to hear. Moses and Elias have disappeared. Christ is there alone, as the One to be glorified, the One to teach those who hear the Father's voice. The Father Himself distinguishes Him, presents Him to the notice of the disciples, not as being worthy of their love, but as the object of His own delight. In Jesus He was Himself well pleased. Thus the Father's affections are presented as ruling ours-setting before us one common object. What a position for poor creatures like us! What grace! 
At the same time the law, and all idea of the restoration of the law under the old covenant, were passed away; and Jesus, glorified as Son of man, and Son of the living God, remains the sole dispenser of the knowledge and the mind of God. The disciples fall on their faces, sore afraid, on hearing the voice of God. Jesus, to whom this glory and this voice were natural, encourages them, as He always did when on earth, saying, "Be not afraid." Being with Him who was the object of the Father's love, why should they fear? Their best Friend was the manifestation of God on the earth; the glory belonged to Him. Moses and Elias had disappeared, and the glory also, which the disciples were not yet able to bear; Jesus-who had been thus manifested to them in the glory given Him, and in the rights of His glorious Person, in His relations with the Father-Jesus remains the same to them as they had ever known Him. But this glory was not to be the subject of their testimony until He, the Son of man, was risen from the dead-the suffering Son of man. The great proof should then be given, that He was the Son of God with power. Testimony thereunto should be rendered, and He would ascend personally into that glory which had just shone forth before their eyes.
But a difficulty arises in the minds of the disciples caused by the doctrine of the scribes with regard to Elias. These had said that Elias must come before the manifestation of the Messiah; and in fact the prophecy of Malachi authorised this expectation. Why then, ask they, say the scribes that Elias must first come? (that is to say, before the manifestation of the Messiah); whereas we have now seen that Thou art He, without the coming of Elias. Jesus confirms the words of the prophecy, adding, that Elias should restore all things. "But," continues the Lord, "I say unto you, that he is come already, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed; likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them." Then understood they that He spoke of John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and power of Elias, as the Holy Ghost had declared by Zacharias his father.
Let us say a few words on this passage. First of all, when the Lord says, "Elias truly cometh first, and shall restore all things," He does but confirm that which the scribes had spoken, according to Malachi's prophecy, as though He had said, "They are in the right." He then declares the effect of the coming of Elias: "He shall restore all things." But the Son of man was yet to come. Jesus had said to His disciples, "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come." Nevertheless He had come, and was even now speaking with them. But this coming of the Son of man of which He spoke, is His coming in glory, when He shall be manifested as the Son of man in judgment according to Daniel 7. It was thus that all which had been said to the Jews should be accomplished; and in Matthew's Gospel He speaks to them in connection with this expectation. Nevertheless it was needful that Jesus should be presented to the nation and should suffer. It was needful that the nation should be tested by the presentation of the Messiah according to the promise. This was done, and as God had also foretold by the prophets, "He was rejected of men." Thus also John went before Him, according to Isaiah 40, as the voice in the wilderness, even in the spirit and power of Elias; he was rejected as the Son of man should also be. 
The Lord then, by these words, declares to His disciples, in connection with the scene they had just left, and with all this part of our Gospel, that the Son of man, as now presented to the Jews, was to be rejected. This same Son of man was to be manifested in glory, as they had seen for a moment on the Mount. Elias indeed was to come, as the scribes had said; but that John the Baptist had fulfilled that office in power for this presentation of the Son of man; which (the Jews being left, as was fitting, to their own responsibility) would only end in His rejection, and in the setting aside of the nation until the days in which God would begin again to connect Himself with His people, still dear to Him, whatever their condition might be. He would then restore all things (a glorious work, which He would accomplish by bringing again His Firstborn into the world). The expression "restore all things" refers here to the Jews, and is used morally. In Acts 3 it refers to the effect of the Son of man's own presence.
The temporary presence of the Son of man was the moment in which a work was accomplished on which eternal glory depends, in which God has been fully glorified, above and beyond all dispensation and in which God and so man has been revealed, a work of which even the outward glory of the Son of man is but the fruit, so far as that depends on His work, and not on His divine Person; a work in which morally He was perfectly glorified in perfectly glorifying God. Still, with respect to the promises made to the Jews, it was but the last step in the testing to which they were subjected by grace. God well knew that they would reject His Son; but He would not hold them as definitively guilty until they had really done it. Thus in His divine wisdom (while afterwards fulfilling His unchangeable promises) He presents Jesus to them-His Son, their Messiah. He gives them every necessary proof. He sends them John the Baptist in the spirit and power of Elias, as His forerunner. The Son of David is born at Bethlehem with all the signs that should have convinced them; but they were blinded by their pride and self-righteousness, and rejected it all. Nevertheless it became Jesus in grace to adapt Himself, as to His position, to the wretched condition of His people. Thus also, the Antitype of the David rejected in his day, He shared the affliction of His people. If the Gentiles oppressed them, their King must be associated with their distress, while giving every proof of what He was and seeking them in love. He rejected, all becomes pure grace. They have no longer a right to anything according to the promises, and are reduced to receive all from that grace, even as a poor Gentile would do. God will not fail in grace. Thus God has put them on the true footing of sinners, and will nevertheless fulfil His promises. This is the subject of Romans 11.
Now the Son of man who shall return will be this same Jesus who went away. The heavens will receive Him until the times of the restitution of all things of which the prophets have spoken. But he who was to be His forerunner in this temporary presence here could not be the same Elias. Accordingly John was conformed to the then manifestation of the Son of man, saving the difference that necessarily flowed from the Person of the Son of man, who could be but one, while that could not be the case with John the Baptist and Elias. But even as Jesus manifested all the power of the Messiah, all His rights to everything that belonged to that Messiah, without assuming as yet the outward glory, His time not being come John 7), so John fulfilled morally and in power the mission of Elias to prepare the way of the Lord before Him (according to the we character of His coming, as then accomplished), and answered literally to Isaiah 40, and even to Malachi 3, the only passages applied to him. This is the reason that John said hewas not Elias, and that the Lord said, "If ye can receive it, this is Elias which was for to come." Therefore also John never applied Malachi 4:5, 6 to himself; but he announces himself as fulfilling Isaiah 40:3-5, and this in each of the Gospels, whatever may be its particular character. 
But let us go on with our chapter. If the Lord takes up into the glory, He comes down into this world, even now in Spirit and in sympathy, and meets the crowd and Satan's power with which we have to do. While the Lord was on the Mount, a poor father had brought to the disciples his son who was a lunatic and possessed by a devil. Here is developed another character of man's unbelief, that even of the believer-inability to make use of the power which is, so to say, at his disposal in the Lord. Christ, Son of God, Messiah, Son of man, had overcome the enemy, had bound the strong man and had a right to cast him out. As man, the obedient One in spite of Satan's temptations, He had overcome him in the wilderness, and had thus a right as man to dispossess him of his dominion over a man as to this world; and this He did. In casting out devils and healing the sick, He delivered man from the power of the enemy. "God," said Peter, "anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, and he went about doing good and healing all those that were oppressed by the devil." Now this power should have been used by the disciples, who ought to have known how to avail themselves by faith of that which Jesus had thus manifested on earth; but they were not able to do it. Yet what availed it to bring this power down here, if the disciples had not faith to use it? The power was there: man might profit by it for complete deliverance from all the oppression of the enemy; but he had not faith to do so-even believers had not. The presence of Christ on earth was useless, when even His own disciples knew not how to profit by it. There was more faith in the man that brought his child than in them, for felt want brought him to its remedy. All therefore come under the Lord's sentence, "O faithless and perverse generation!" He must leave them, and that which the glory had revealed above, unbelief shall realise below.
Observe here, that it is not evil in the world which puts an end to a particular intervention of God; on the contrary, it occasions the intervention in grace. It was on account of Satan's dominion over men that Christ came. He departs, because those who had received Him are incapable of using the power that He brought with Him, or that He bestows for their deliverance; they cannot profit by the very advantages then enjoyed. Faith was wanting. Nevertheless observe also this important and touching truth that, as long as such dispensation from God continues, Jesus does not fail to meet individual faith with blessing, even when His disciples cannot glorify Him by the exercise of faith. The same sentence that judges the unbelief of the disciples calls the distressed father to the enjoyment of the blessing. After all, to be able to avail ourselves of His power, we must be in communion with Him by the practical energy of faith.
He blesses then the poor father according to his need; and, full of patience, He resumes the course of instruction He was giving His disciples on the subject of His rejection and His resurrection as the Son of man. Loving the Lord, and unable to carry their ideas beyond the circumstances of the moment, they are troubled; and yet this was redemption, salvation, the glory of Christ.
Before however going farther, and teaching them that which became the disciples of a Master thus rejected and the position they were to occupy, He sets before them His divine glory, and their association with Him who had it, in the most touching manner, if they could but have understood it; and at the same time with perfect condescension and tenderness He places Himself with them, or rather He places them in the same place with Himself, as Son of the great King of the temple and of all the earth.
Those who collected the tribute-money for the service of the temple come and ask Peter if his Master does not pay it. Ever ready to put himself forward, forgetful of the glory he had seen, and the revelation made to him by the Father, Peter, coming down to the ordinary level of his own thoughts, anxious that his Master should be esteemed a good Jew and without consulting Him, replies that He does. The Lord anticipates Peter on his coming in, and shews him His divine knowledge of that which took place at a distance from Himself. At the same time, He speaks of Peter and Himself as both children of the King of the temple (Son of God still keeping in patient goodness His lowly place as a Jew), and both therefore free from the tribute. But they should not offend. He then commands creation, (for He can do all things, as He knows all things,) and causes a fish to bring precisely the sum required, coupling anew the name of Peter with His own. He had said, "Lest we offend them"; and now, "Give unto them for me and thee." Marvellous and divine condescension! He who is the searcher of hearts, and who disposes at will of the whole creation, the Son of the sovereign Lord of the temple, puts His poor disciples into this same relationship with His heavenly Father, with the God who was worshipped in that temple. He submits to the demands that would have been rightly made on strangers, but He places His disciples in all His own privileges as Son. We see very plainly the connection between this touching expression of divine grace and the subject of these chapters. It demonstrates all the significance of the change that was taking place.
It is interesting to remark that the first epistle of Peter is founded on Matthew 16, and the second on chapter 17, which we have just been considering.  In chapter 16 Peter taught of the Father, confessed the Lord to be the Son of the living God; and the Lord said that on this rock He would build His church, and that he who had the power of death should not prevail against it. Thus also Peter, in his first epistle, declares that they were born again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Now it is by this resurrection that the power of the life of the living God was manifested. Afterwards he calls Christ the living stone, in coming unto whom we, as living stones, are built up a holy temple to the Lord.
In his second epistle he recalls, in a peculiar manner, the glory of the transfiguration, as a proof of the coming and the kingdom of the Son of man. Accordingly he speaks in that epistle of the judgment of the Lord.
 Peter, taught of the Holy Ghost, calls it "the excellent glory."
 It was not in connection with the divine validity of their testimony, that Moses and Elias disappear. There could not be a stronger confirmation of it, as indeed Peter says, than this scene. But not only they were not the subjects of God's testimony as Christ was, but their testimony did not refer nor their exhortations reach to the heavenly things which were now to be revealed in association with the Son from heaven. Even John the Baptist makes this difference (John 3:13, 31-34). Hence as there set forth, the Son of man must be lifted up. So here, the Lord charges the disciples not to say He was the Messiah, for the Son of man must suffer. It was the turning-point of the Lord's life and ministry, and the coming glory of the kingdom shewn to the disciples, but then He must suffer (see John 12:27). The Jewish history was closed in chapter 12, indeed in chapter 11, and the ground of the change laid John and He both rejected, perfect submission, then all things delivered unto Him of His Father, and He revealing the Father (compare John 13, 14). But Matthew 13-apart from Judaism, He begins with what He brought, not looking for fruit in man.
 Hence also John Baptist rejects the application of Malachi 4:5, 6, to himself; while Isaiah 40 and Malachi 3:1 are applied to him in Luke 1:76; 7:27.
 See previous note.
 Both these epistles, after stating redemption by the precious blood of Christ and being born of the incorruptible seed of the word, treat of the government of God; the first, its application to His own, preserving them, the second, to the wicked and the world, going on thus to the elements melting with fervent heat, and the new heavens and the new earth.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Matthew》
The transfiguration of Christ. (1-13) Jesus casts out a dumb and deaf spirit. (14-21) He again foretells his sufferings. (22,23) He works a miracle to pay the tribute money. (24-27)
Commentary on Matthew 17:1-13
(Read Matthew 17:1-13)
Now the disciples beheld somewhat of Christ's glory, as of the only begotten of the Father. It was intended to support their faith, when they would have to witness his crucifixion; and would give them an idea of the glory prepared for them, when changed by his power and made like him. The apostles were overcome by the glorious sight. Peter thought that it was most desirable to continue there, and to go no more down to meet the sufferings of which he was so unwilling to hear. In this he knew not what he said. We are wrong, if we look for a heaven here upon earth. Whatever tabernacles we propose to make for ourselves in this world, we must always remember to ask Christ's leave. That sacrifice was not yet offered, without which the souls of sinful men could not have been saved; and important services were to be done by Peter and his brethren. While Peter spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, an emblem of the Divine presence and glory. Ever since man sinned, and heard God's voice in the garden, unusual appearances of God have been terrible to man. They fell prostrate to the earth, till Jesus encouraged them; when looking round, they beheld only their Lord as they commonly saw him. We must pass through varied experiences in our way to glory; and when we return to the world after an ordinance, it must be our care to take Christ with us, and then it may be our comfort that he is with us.
Commentary on Matthew 17:14-21
(Read Matthew 17:14-21)
The case of afflicted children should be presented to God by faithful and fervent prayer. Christ cured the child. Though the people were perverse, and Christ was provoked, yet care was taken of the child. When all other helps and succours fail, we are welcome to Christ, may trust in him, and in his power and goodness. See here an emblem of Christ's undertaking as our Redeemer. It encourages parents to bring children to Christ, whose souls are under Satan's power; he is able to heal them, and as willing as he is able. Not only bring them to Christ by prayer, but bring them to the word of Christ; to means by which Satan's strong-holds in the soul are beaten down. It is good for us to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it is displeasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived from him, or granted by him. There was also something in the malady which rendered the cure difficult. The extraordinary power of Satan must not discourage our faith, but quicken us to more earnestness in praying to God for the increase of it. Do we wonder to see Satan's bodily possession of this young man from a child, when we see his spiritual possession of every son of Adam from the fall!
Commentary on Matthew 17:22,23
(Read Matthew 17:22,23)
Christ perfectly knew all things that should befall him, yet undertook the work of our redemption, which strongly shows his love. What outward debasement and Divine glory was the life of the Redeemer! And all his humiliation ended in his exaltation. Let us learn to endure the cross, to despise riches and worldly honours, and to be content with his will.
Commentary on Matthew 17:24-27
(Read Matthew 17:24-27)
Peter felt sure that his Master was ready to do what was right. Christ spoke first to give him proof that no thought can be withholden from him. We must never decline our duty for fear of giving offence; but we must sometimes deny ourselves in our worldly interests, rather than give offence. However the money was lodged in the fish, He who knows all things alone could know it, and only almighty power could bring it to Peter's hook. The power and the poverty of Christ should be mentioned together. If called by providence to be poor, like our Lord, let us trust in his power, and our God shall supply all our need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In the way of obedience, in the course, perhaps, of our usual calling, as he helped Peter, so he will help us. And if any sudden call should occur, which we are not prepared to meet, let us not apply to others, till we first seek Christ.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Matthew》
 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
And was transfigured — Or transformed. The indwelling Deity darted out its rays through the veil of the flesh; and that with such transcendent splendour, that he no longer bore the form of a servant. His face shone with Divine majesty, like the sun in its strength; and all his body was so irradiated by it, that his clothes could not conceal its glory, but became white and glittering as the very light, with which he covered himself as with a garment.
 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
There appeared Moses and Elijah — Here for the full confirmation of their faith in Jesus, Moses, the giver of the law, Elijah, the most zealous of all the prophets, and God speaking from heaven, all bore witness to him.
 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Let us make three tents — The words of rapturous surprise. He says three, not six: because the apostles desired to be with their Master.
 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Hear ye him — As superior even to Moses and the prophets. See Deuteronomy 18:17.
 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
Be not afraid — And doubtless the same moment he gave them courage and strength.
 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
Tell the vision to no man — Not to the rest of the disciples, lest they should be grieved and discouraged because they were not admitted to the sight: nor to any other persons, lest it should enrage some the more, and his approaching sufferings shall make others disbelieve it; till the Son of man be risen again - Till the resurrection should make it credible, and confirm their testimony about it.
 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
Why then say the scribes, that Elijah must come first — Before the Messiah? If no man is to know of his coming? Should we not rather tell every man, that he is come, and that we have seen him, witnessing to thee as the Messiah?
 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
Regulate all things — In order to the coming of Christ.
 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
Elijah is come already — And yet when the Jews asked John, Art thou Elijah? He said, I am not, John 1:21. His meaning was, I am not Elijah the Tishbite, come again into the world. But he was the person of whom Malachi prophesied under that name.
 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
He is lunatic — This word might with great propriety he used, though the case was mostly preternatural; as the evil spirit would undoubtedly take advantage of the influence which the changes of the moon have on the brain and nerves.
 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
O unbelieving and perverse generation — Our Lord speaks principally this to his disciples.
How long shall I be with you? — Before you steadfastly believe?
 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Because of your unbelief — Because in this particular they had not faith.
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed — That is, the least measure of it. But it is certain, the faith which is here spoken of does not always imply saving faith. Many have had it who thereby cast out devils, and yet will at last have their portion with them. It is only a supernatural persuasion given a man, that God will work thus by him at that hour. Now, though I have all this faith so as to remove mountains, yet if I have not the faith which worketh by love, I am nothing. To remove mountains was a proverbial phrase among the Jews, and is still retained in their writings, to express a thing which is very difficult, and to appearance impossible. Matthew 21:21; Luke 17:6.
 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
This kind of devils — goeth not out but by prayer and fasting - What a testimony is here of the efficacy of fasting, when added to fervent prayer! Some kinds of devils the apostles had cast out before this, without fasting.
 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
When they were come to Capernaum — Where our Lord now dwelt. This was the reason why they stayed till he came thither, to ask him for the tribute.
Doth not your Master pay tribute? — This was a tribute or payment of a peculiar kind, being half a shekel, (that is, about fifteen pence,) which every master of a family used to pay yearly to the service of the temple, to buy salt, and little things not otherwise provided for. It seems to have been a voluntary thing, which custom rather than any law had established.
 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Jesus prevented him — Just when St. Peter was going to ask him for it.
Of their own sons, or of strangers? — That is, such as are not of their own family.
 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Then are the sons free — The sense is, This is paid for the use of the house of God. But I am the Son of God. Therefore I am free from any obligation of paying this to my own Father.
 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Yet that, we may not offend them — Even those unjust, unreasonable men, who claim what they have no manner of right to: do not contest it with them, bat rather yield to their demand, than violate peace or love. O what would not one of a loving spirit do for peace! Any thing which is not expressly forbidden in the word of God.
A piece of money — The original word is a stater, which was in value two shillings and sixpence: just the sum that was wanted.
Give for me and thee — Peter had a family of his own: the other apostles were the family of Jesus. How illustrious a degree of knowledge and power did our Lord here discover! Knowledge, penetrating into this animal, though beneath the waters; and power, in directing this very fish to Peter's hook, though he himself was at a distance! How must this have encouraged both him and his brethren in a firm dependence on Divine Providence.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Matthew》
Chapter 17. Transfiguration on a High Mountain
The Faith of a Mustard Seed
Move a Mountain
I. Glorious Appearance of Christ
II. Healing of an Epileptic Boy
III. Take Money from the Mouth of a Fish
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
They Beheld His Majesty (17:1-9)
1. What a blessing it must have been, spending time with Christ during
His earthly ministry...
a. To hear His teaching, spoken with the voice of authority - Mt 7:
b. To witness His miracles, which manifested His glory - Jn 2:11
2. Among those blessed to be with Jesus, three men especially so:
Peter, James and John...
a. They accompanied Jesus on the mount of transfiguration - Mt 17:
b. Peter would later write of that experience on the mount - 2 Pe 1:
1) He says they were "eyewitnesses of His majesty"
2) That Jesus received "honor and glory" from God the Father
-- What an experience this must have been for these three fishermen
3. The setting that led up to this event was as follows...
a. Jesus had just made two amazing statements:
1) He would come in glory and reward each one according to his
works - Mt 16:27
2) As supporting evidence, some would not taste death before they
a) "the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" - Mt 16:28
come with power" - Mk 9:1 kingdomof God
" - Lk 9:27 kingdomof God
b. The gospel writers then connect these sayings with the event
about to occur:
1) Matthew and Mark record "and after six days..." - Mk 17:1;
2) Luke writes "about eight days" ("the Jewish equivalent of
`about a week later'." - Wiersbe) - Lk 9:28
3) Luke adds "after these sayings", clearly tying the event to
what had just been said
[What happened on the mount? Simply put, "They Beheld His Majesty".
What was the significance of this event? To answer this question,
let's take a closer look and note first of all..]
I. THEY BEHELD THE MAJESTY OF HIS PERSON
A. EVIDENCED BY HIS TRANSFIGURATION...
1. He was "transfigured" - Mt 17:2; Mk 9:2
a. Gr.., metamorphoo, met-am-or-fo'-o
b. Meaning to change, transfigure, transform
2. This change affected His face and clothing
a. His face shone like the sun - Mt 17:2 (Luke says the
appearance of His face was altered - Lk 9:29)
b. His clothes became as white as the light - Mt 17:2
1) Shining, exceedingly white, like snow, more than any
launderer can whiten them - Mk 9:3
2) White and glistening - Lk 9:29
-- Peter later wrote that what he saw was His "majesty" (2 Pe 1:
16); the effulgence of His glory likely represented His
deity as the Son of God - cf. He 1:1-3
B. EVIDENCED BY THE PRESENCE OF MOSES AND ELIJAH...
1. They were talking with Jesus - Mt 17:3; Mk 9:4
a. They also appeared in glory - Lk 9:
b. Discussing with Jesus about His coming death in
- Lk 9:31b
c. Peter, James, and John had been sleeping, but awoke to see
Jesus in His glory, and talking with Moses and Elijah - Lk
d. Moses and Elijah then began to depart - Lk 9:33
2. That Moses and Elijah would appear with Jesus was not lost on
Peter - Mt 17:4
a. Moses and Elijah were the epitome of the Law and the
b. Peter wanted to build three tabernacles, one each for
Jesus, Moses and Elijah
-- Jesus had evidently been elevated to the same level as Moses
and Elijah in Peter's mind!
[But Peter was soon to learn that Jesus was above Moses and Elijah,
especially in regards to His authority! As we continue, therefore, we
II. THEY BEHELD THE MAJESTY OF HIS
A. EVIDENCED BY THE VOICE FROM HEAVEN...
1. While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed
them - Mt 17:5
2. Peter, James, and John, fearfully entered the cloud - Lk 9:34
3. A voice came out of the cloud: "This is My beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased, Hear Him!" - Mt 17:5; cf. 3:16-17
a. This terrified the disciples - Mt 17:6
b. Jesus then sought to comfort them - Mt 17:7
4. The command, "Hear Him!"...
a. Implies that God would begin to speak through His Son, not
the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) - cf. He 1:1-2
b. That the rule and reign of God would be exercised through
His Son, as He would be given all authority in heaven and
earth - cf. Mt 28:18
5. Of course, this rule and reign (i.e., Christ's kingdom) would
begin after Christ suffered (i.e., His death) and entered into
glory (i.e., His ascension) - cf. Lk 24:26
a. Which explains why He told them to tell no one the vision
until after His resurrection - Mt 17:9
b. What they had witnessed was a foretaste, a foreshadowing of
His coming glory and rule in His kingdom!
B. EVIDENCED BY THE ABSENCE OF MOSES AND ELIJAH...
1. After hearing the voice, and lifting up their eyes, only Jesus
was present - Mt 17:8; Mk 9:8
2. Perhaps symbolizing what the voice clearly declared: that
Jesus was the one they were to hear, not Moses and Elijah who
likely represented the Law and the Prophets
1. Truly "They Beheld His Majesty"...
a. They beheld the majesty of His person
1) Transfigured before them
2) Exalted even above Moses and Elijah
b. They beheld the majesty of His coming kingdom
1) Acknowledged from heaven as God's beloved Son
2) The One whom all should heed, for all authority would be given
2. What is the significance of this event?
a. It may be the fulfillment Jesus' statement recorded in Mt 16:28;
Mk 9:1; Lk 9:27
1) That some would see the Son of Man "coming" in His kingdom
2) That some would see the
"present" with power kingdomof God
3) That some would see the
(i.e., His rule or kingdomof God
b. If such is the case, what they saw was a foretaste of His kingdom
1) Which would not be fully exercised until after His death and
resurrection - cf. Ep 1:20-23; 1 Pe 3:22
2) Which would include that day in which He will judge the world!
- cf. Ac 17:30-31; Mt 16:27
3. In any case, all of the events at the mount contributed to giving
Jesus what Peter later described as "honor" and "glory" from the
Father - 2 Pe 1:17
a. The glorious transfiguration of Christ
b. The presence (and their subsequent absence) of Moses and Elijah
c. The voice from heaven, acknowledging Christ as God's Son
4. What does God desire of us today?
a. Not tabernacles or temples erected in the memory of His Son
b. But for us to simply obey what God said at the mount: "Hear Him!"
If we desire to add to the honor and glory that Jesus so richly
deserves, and to one day behold His majesty in heaven, then let be
careful to heed what He himself said regarding His authority:
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go
therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
- Mt 28:18-20